State of the Economic Recovery: 5 Economic Indicators to Watch

Last month the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first estimate of the growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the first quarter of 2015. According to the report, real GDP’s annualized growth rate was only a dismal 0.2 percent. So what exactly caused this slow growth in the first three months of the year? Some argue that this low estimate is due to an underlying methodological issue that results in a significant underestimate for the first quarter. However, several economic indicators have decelerated or declined over the last few months, indicating tepid growth in the first quarter. Given the questions surrounding the validity of the last GDP estimate, it is particularly important to examine economic metrics from a variety of sources and analyze their implications for growth.

John Deere Copyright Issues

Where I grew up in the Midwest, the landscape is filled with corn fields, punctuated by the even more distinct green of John Deere tractors. The iconic company has largely stayed out of the news, but this changed recently when it was reported that the manufacturer “told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors.”[1] What the company actually argued is much less egregious than what is being portrayed in headlines, but it did reignite a debate over the future of innovation in America.  Innovation in the 21st century requires community and collaboration, so manufacturers naturally walk a fine line with regard to legal positions and customer communications.

AAF Releases New Poll On Fiduciary Regulation

The American Action Forum (@AAF) and the American Action Network today released the results of a national survey examining public attitudes on the Department of Labor’s proposed regulation for financial advisers. Among the key findings, the survey found that Americans oppose the fiduciary regulation (50% to 28%), and are significantly less likely to support the proposed regulation when they hear about the personal impact this would have on middle class savers (73% less likely). 

AAF/AAN National Survey on Financial Adviser Regulation

The American Action Forum and American Action Network commissioned a national survey on the financial adviser regulation issued by the Department of Labor. The national survey was conducted by On Message, Inc. The national survey found that:

Americans oppose the fiduciary regulation (50% to 28%), and are significantly less likely to support the proposed regulation when they hear about the personal impact this would have on middle class savers (73% less likely).  A strong majority (59% to 26%) doesn’t believe it’s the government’s job to decide what’s best for an individual’s personal retirement accounts. Americans believe the Department of Labor lacks the expertise and relevance of running individual Americans’ IRA’s (69% to 20%).

The Daily Dish

In his 2,312 days in office, President Obama’s administration has finalized 2,210 new regulations that impose a new compliance burden of $659.6 billion. That “One-a-Day” pace means that the regulatory burden has risen by an average of $285 million per day; $11 million per hour; $198,000 per minute; or $3,300 per second of his time in office. Put differently, the regulatory burden has risen by roughly $100 billion per year or $1 trillion over the 10-year budget window.

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